We love to entertain and while the summer months beckon most of our guests poolside, the cooler times of year invite people inside our home. I get more excited to have people inside because many of our rooms are spaces I’ve put my heart and soul into. But something that has always stressed me out about having guests over is the cleaning.
There is something about adding in a third child that has brought an intensity to this domestication thing well, really to every facet of my life. Honestly, one of the best things blogging has done for me is given me an outlet to channel my OCD. When I first became a stay-at-home mom I was obsessed with the cleanliness of our home, to a point that made me not so fun to live with, I imagine. I mean, I used to clean baseboards with a toothbrush quite regularly. A few more kids and a blog later, don’t you dare get too close to my baseboards.
I still long for a clean and orderly house at all times, but I don’t have the time to make it that way or the brain space to worry about it as much. And because I’m an all-or-nothing perfectionist, I have often left things messy or dirty until I had the time to fully commit to the job. But I’ve figured something out in the last year that has been a game changer. Chores. You heard that right. My kids doing things for me has been a glorious discovery!
The reality I’ve come to is I can either be anxious in a dirty house or let my expectations go and let my kids do a halfway decent job. It’s a win-win because I get a house that is a bit more calming, and they get to learn responsibility and how to be a contributor to our family.
Xander is 8 and Milly is 5. One day I just decided “hey, they can empty the dishwasher.” “Xander can vacuum.” “There’s no reason Milly can’t dust.” Have you seen that graphic that says “If your child can operate a smartphone, they can use any one of these…” and it shows things like a mop, a washer and dryer, a dustpan. It’s so true! Many of the chores have been divided up according to who can do what, Xander is taller and can handle the vacuum better but some things are just a matter of what they’re better at Xander is better at sorting laundry and Milly is better at emptying the dishwasher.
When it comes to cleaning products I feel like I’ve finally found the right ones. I’ve tried harsh chemicals, disposable dusters and pads, and natural products. I’ve found that furniture polish just attracts dust to surfaces, disposable things are handy but wasteful environmentally and financially and natural products cost a good amount of money or take time to make – I already can’t find time to clean, let alone make, ha. I’ve always loved OXO’s kitchen tools, but it wasn’t until recently that I tried their cleaning products.
They have all of the same great features…incredibly well made, affordable, a clean, sleek design, and super user friendly. All of the dusters and pads are removable for easy washing, and you know I love a pop of poppy red, so they even look pretty when they get left out. The dusters are great for any age, but my personal favorite has been the under appliance duster. That is the most satisfying and sometimes horrifying thing to use!
The broom and pan work like a dream, and the pole is adjustable so it can function easily for me or Milly with a simple twist. I think the mop is my favorite though. I get asked all the time how I clean the floors in our kitchen. For quite some time I would just get a pad wet with hot water and mop until I had to get it wet again. I always kept something to scrape off food that the mop couldn’t get in my hand because kids and would have to get down to really scrub.
But this spray mop comes with a refillable bottle that I just put hot water in with a splash of vinegar. And you can release the Slide-Out Scrubber simply by stepping on the foot pedal to scrub off stubborn, dried up food. It’s so easy to use it’s kind of fun. How I know this? My kids have actually been arguing over who’s turn it is to mop, and that was certainly never the argument before. Making my kids take some responsibility in our house is not always easy, and they don’t always go along with a smile on their face. When they know they’re being photographed it makes those expressions (and outfit choices) a bit different. Here’s some proof…
He’s going to love that this is on the internet someday, I’m sure. In the long run, the ownership they will feel and the help I receive will far outweigh the time it takes to teach and the grumblings sometimes heard before they begin, right?
Do your kids do chores? What are their responsibilities?
*This post has been in partnership with OXO but all thoughts, opinions, and selections are my own.